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..and so it begins

Hello, yes, I’ve joined the desperate ranks of the millions needing to have their voices heard online. Another unit on the anthill trying to be heard or seen or whatever it is this individual needs or is looking for.

I saw a young woman on a train from London the other day, tidy, efficient, keen, busily extracting the stream of consciousness from her head onto the hard disc sitting on her lap, she sat by herself and looked very peaceful, happy with the words that appeared before her, but this is not criticism, this is not scepticism. This young woman had found expression and a place………….                   If I can just find a fraction of that contentment,

…Just for a moment,

…a catharsis pulled from a box full of wires,

…but then again, maybe I just want to use a cricket bat on the other ants,

… you decide.

(The cricket bat reference?  I come from the UK, obviously this would be a baseball bat if coming from anywhere else, thus I stop for tea whilst halfway through dispatching all the ants)

Featured post

 

The War Cry of Social Media

 

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‘Have been looking for freelance work lately and I now at last, in my fifties, have discovered the huge, bloated, monolith that is social media. Before leaving my previous employ, I had never really put my foot in these shark infested waters, probably a generational thing, now however, I have been branded with the iron of Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, WordPress and Behance. It’s not so much the nature of these forums and the obvious pitfalls that disturbs me though, but the anonymity and neurosis it induces. I take Twitter and Facebook as an example, all the contacts I need are on there, in front of me, so to speak, but to get to them through this media is like going into a no-man’s land of a million human avatars and opinion. ‘Oh, you aren’t using it right’, I hear, well, maybe, but do I really have to seek fame  just to speak and to be seen. I have spent hours, days messing about with this damn thing and this is what it seems to be to me, a drug for fame, an affirmation engine we plug ourselves into on this ant-hill of life, a comfort blanket in our pockets, ‘I am all right aren’t I?, I am doing well aren’t I?’. I know I sound like a refusenik, sorry, I am not denying it’s potential, it’s impressive technical presence but a twenty seven inch screen with the opinions of dozens of anonymous people, robotically pressing the like, message, reply and retweet buttons like a load of Pavlov’s dog’s seems a little odd to me.

I’m not advertising myself, am I, my point being, life is in human interaction, I am a maker of things, I do stuff, and I have spent these last few weeks sitting on my ever increasing arse,  so forgive me if I have a rant. Now for the good stuff… Used properly, once I have the knack of it, social media will be a useful tool to me, but nothing more than that, a connection engine for saving me schlepping around the streets with my folio. In perspective, I know I must embrace it and tame it, but I can now see for real how this ‘drug of the virtual’ is used by so many.

 

On Superheroes

 

I never really got on with superheroes, the faux, musclebound, spandex creations of the comic world, their falseness the subject of endless dissertations, conventions and discussions. Why though? Surely all that strength and virtue, that’s enough to impress the most cynical soul something to look up to, and in there I think lies the problem.

I am not an academic, but I know a homo-erotic, fascistic pin-up when I see one, that’s the only way I can describe it. The authoritarian values of a single god-like character saving us lesser mortals from clichéd images of evil leaves me cold. Though as well as not being an academic I am also not a reactionary. Ooh nice artwork. Yes, I can appreciate the skill, man hours and sheer passion with which people devote themselves to this hero-worshipping drivel, oh sorry sub-culture, however it’s the message that disappoints.

You see, you and I if we were in one of these comics, oh sorry, there I go again, graphic novels, we would be one of the insignificant, terrified looking creatures running from the cataclysm, or the shifty individual leaning against the side of the space bar dealing some ridiculously named space junk, an aside, a prop to the main feature. Him, the cleaner of galaxies in all his undemocratic glory who comes and decides our destiny with some huge overblown weapon, there I go with the homo-erotic again, and his ridiculously exaggerated pectorals, my god, to be frank with you I’m bored of it.

Strength like the word heroism is misused. It is not down to something so simple as the circumference of the human bicep it has many faces, adversity, responsibility and many times it can be a long journey often quietly travelled and this is where we go most wrong in real life. We put our faith in the fake and the loud, that that most closely resembles our image of the superhero, and we end up with the ignorant and the aggressive, those who worship at the altar of the mirror and mammon, then we as people and not somebody in a comic-strip suffer. We get what we deserve don’t we? When we believe with passion in that which is depicted through such a juvenile, child-like set of morals.

I’m afraid that, yes, we do.

 

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Design Detail:

 

H1 to H4

 

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H4    Phantom Photographer

 

The dramatic story of John Harrison and the development of the marine chronometer is well known now, if you wish to read about this, Dava Sobel’s excellent ‘Longitude’ tells the story better than I could ever do. Harrison’s first three models of his design, H1, H2, H3 were all magnificent timepieces in their own right, but they were the result of a carpenter and a highly skilled amateur clock maker, not someone who did not fully understood the physics and engineering needed. They are all incredible creations however,a labyrinthine architecture of balances springs, pendulum’s and escapements, the workings of which I don’t pretend to fathom. The most important element of these three early chronometers though is the passion and the experiment they represent, H4 however is Harrison’s refinement of this. In 1758 he moved to London and came across the fine timepieces of Thomas Mudge, thus, he realised his chronometer could be made in the form of a watch, and so using Harrison’s design John Jeffrys a skilled watchmaker fashioned the iconic H4, the first ‘Sea Watch’. H3 to H4 is a revolution, it turns passion into reality, experimentation into engineering. There is a distance of about forty years between the design of H1 to H4. Experimentation and testing, frustration and persistence, H4 represents the pure refinement of idea, it is a masterpiece.

 

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H1    Phantom Photographer

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